I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of seeing the same post up on here day after day. However, I’m still SoCNoCing in addition to, you know, having an actual life, which makes this a good day to revive my Five on Friday tradition (if you can call something I’ve only done twice a ‘tradition’). If the planets re-align or my ingrained sense of guilt gets to me or I become sick of writing a million and a half words a day on my book, I’ll be back to more regular posting early next week.

When I first started Five on Friday, it was with the intention of sharing five favorite links and a video. Since then, other bloggers have played with the meme, and it has morphed into something different for each of them. It’s a fun thing to watch. However, this time around, I’m going to have to go with the original idea, because I’m a bit of a stickler. Since all my creativity is being siphoned off for my book, you get an obvious topic this week: Five writing-related links I’ve found helpful, plus a bonus video for those who have no moral objection to the wonders of YouTube.

  1. Feeling lonely? Directionless? Looking for a good community of writers, some great writing advice, an abundance of laughs or, at the very least, a cult to replace the one you left after that religious phase you went through in high school? Might I suggest Will Write for Wine? It’s a podcast! It’s a forum! Best of all, it goes well with chicken and pasta!
  2. If you’ve seen the size of my TBR piles (yes, plural) you’ll know that reading isn’t dead — not in my household, at least. But if you’d like proof that others share my addiction, you may find some solace in “Book Lust” by New York Times columnist Timothy Egan. While not a traditional writing resource, it provides plenty of inspiration for those who are convinced that the book industry is doomed. Unless they’re really cynical, in which case they’ve probably already given up on being published anyway, and are therefore unlikely to be reading this.
  3. Link number three is the perfect time to pause for a moment of gratitude, because even if reading isn’t dead, it’s still not an easy industry to break into. Yet I’m an info geek, and with all the resources for writers available out there, I’d still rather be writing now than at any other time in history. For a taste of what I mean, take a look the following three agent blogs. (You get three links for the price of one here, since narrowing it down was pretty close to impossible. Plus, I’m feeling generous.) If you haven’t read Nathan Bransford’s blog, Ask Daphne by Kate Schafer, and Pub Rants by Kristin Nelson, I highly recommend that you trot off there next and take a look at the advice they have to offer both aspiring novelists and those who are already published. Follow the links in their sidebars to find even more great editor/agent blogs.
  4. For those times when I need a character name and either can’t come up with one or realize that I’ve been inadvertently naming characters after former elementary school classmates or B-list actresses, I visit the Random Name Generator. Just plug in a few parameters, press the button, and you will be presented with a list of names to choose from. Best of all, if you don’t love any of the ones that come up, you can just do it again. And again. And, for those more into procrastinating than writing, yet again.
  5. As it turns out, it’s hard to narrow this topic down to five, which is why Writer’s Digest creates an annual list of the 101 best web sites for writers. (Note: It was loading very slowly on my computer, so some patience may be required. Then again, if you’re reading this list you’re most likely interested in publication, in which case you probably already have a well-developed sense of patience. Good job.)

And, finally, the promised bonus video. Although everyone and their cat has probably seen this by now if they have least a passing interest in novelship, my internal sense of right and wrong has ordered me to share it with you anyway. Enjoy.

Now it’s your turn. (You just knew I’d turn this into a homework assignment, didn’t you? You can probably even guess what I’m about to ask. Let’s see if you were correct.) Now that you’ve seen a few of my favorite writing-related websites, what are some of yours?

In other news, Ilana Stephens, a talented writer and fellow Will Write for Wine forum member, interviewed me last week for her blog. Since I’ve mostly disappeared from the internets lately I’m only now sharing the link with you. I’ve conducted a few blog interviews myself, but I’ve never been on the receiving end of the questions. I have to admit, it was pretty fun, and it made me feel kind of important — and since I’m the proud owner of and slave to three haughty cats, my ego could use the boost.